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Author: onalee

Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2005

January 03, 2012

Subject: Traveling with the Kindle Keyboard with 3G, with cover

(from Jim, not Onalee)

I bought a Kindle about a month before our recent trip to Spain/Portugal. The purpose was to eliminate the weight of several paper travel guides and have easy to access to e-mail.

The Kindle met my objectives very well, and yielded some additional bonuses.

Before the trip I loaded the Rick Steves Spain guide and a couple of MobileReference guides. I discovered Kindle has apps, so I loaded in a sadoku game, a simple word game, a note pad app, and a calculator app. I also bookmarked some mobile travel sights, like Frommers, and I loaded in the .pdf file of the GCT travel guide and used Kindle’s conversion service to convert the trip itinerary into a .pdf file. I made up a Things to See list in WordPerfect, saved it as a .pdf file and stored that on the Kindle. Throw in a few "free reading" items, and I was just about set. I did have an audio book on the Kindle, but didn’t have time to use it. The morning of departure, I downloaded the daily newspaper to read on the plane. Whew!

The Rick Steves book was formatted for the Kindle and it worked well, as did the MobileReferences. Steves’ guides often have simple black and white maps, and that’s great for the Kindle which does not do color and photos very well. Steves also has a side trip to Tangier and a little bit about Bilbao, both of which were part of our tour. The Kindle traveled well in my jacket pocket or day bag, so I could refer to it while on the move. The Kindle worked fine in bright light, unlike the lcd screens on my camera and GPS.

E-mail worked ok. The mini-keyboard is a nuisance, but its better than on-screen keyboards. I used Wi-Fi in one hotel, but in others it wouldn’t connect. That mirrors my experience on past trips. The 3G feature did work, however, and I was able to access mail using 3G. I even checked the status of a threatened Iberia pilot’s strike via Google using 3G on the tour bus traveling through the boonies of Spain. While sitting in the Madrid airport, I downloaded a newspaper for the return flight. The calculator did service for conversions and customs lists. The notepad got zero use. The games were nice to have on the airplane. I had to charge the Kindle once or twice in the eighteen day trip(you just need a plug adapter).     Paper maps?  Get them at the hotel desk.

That’s it. The Kindle was compact, versatile, high value contributor to our trip enjoyment. I highly recommend it to travelers. 

Author: jobog

Joined: 3/26/2010
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2004

January 07, 2012

I travel with my Apple iphone and my Kindle.  I have used the Kindle successfully on transatlantic flights several times, trains, and river boats in Europe, etc.  Since I changed to an iphone, I no longer need to access a computer when traveling.  Wifi is readily available and I am able to keep up with family email, etc.  Regarding phone calls,  texting is cheaper and easier than phone calls.  Make certain that you get international rates from your carrier BEFORE you leave.  My husband also travels with his cell and this is one way we keep up with each other when we are in a city or get separated in a store.  Usually our charges are not more than an additional $25.00-$30.00 for a two-three week trip and cetainly worth every penny.  Make certain that you have a charger, transformer, and adapter.  Brookstone sells a very compact and lightweight combination transformer/adapter/multiple continent use gadget  that is easy to use for just about everywhere.  I highly recommend it.

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 70
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

February 23, 2012

I travel with an Android tablet and before going on a trip I look for Web sites that have useful information on the sites we will visit.  I bookmark these on my tablet computer so I can find them quickly.   Then each night in the hotel I reread my guide book and information on the web sites about the things we will be visiting the next day.  I find that I get more out of the visit if I know something about it before going. 


In April we are traveling to Israel with OAT so I’ve been looking for Web sites.   The best one I found is called biblewalks, link below.   This Web site is fantastic.  It has maps of Israel with dots on the map for historical sites all over Israel.  Clicking on the dots takes you to a page about that place.  There is a description and history of the place, nice pictures, and quotes about the place from the Old and New Testaments and others such as Josephus Flavius the first century writer.   Josephus Flavius “War of the Jews” is available free for the Kindle.


Do you have any good Travel related Web sites to share? 



My Philosophy – For a truly rich life, live modestly so you can afford to travel  extensively.


Author: boleta

Joined: 10/1/2010
Posts: 13
Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2002

March 15, 2012

I know I am going to get "guff" for my comments, however, I still would like to know why it is people pay to take trips and have to take IPads and computers with them on their trips.  It is realized we should keep in touch with our families (no argument here), but to sit at a computer every time we get back from our tours is ridiculous.  Do we need to report on Facebook what we have done.  Who cares???  We've seen this time and time again.  We are on vacation! That means no computers, no phones, no t.v., etc.  We have paid to relax.  So, why use technology? If we are using technology, this means we are not on vacation.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 414
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

March 15, 2012

While I do not disagree with your basic premise, boleta, you did present it a bit harshly. I nearly always carry a laptop computer with me when traveling, but I seldom connect to the Internet with it. I will keep a journal of each trip, and I will either hand write my notes to be transcribed when I get home, or I will key the notes onto the computer and then have the basis for the journal ready for editing and expansion when i get home. I type much better than I write, so spending half an hour each evening on the computer is, to me, a wise use of my time. When traveling I feel the experience is enhanced by use of all avaliable tools. The laptop computer is one such tool.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:


Traveler Since: 1999

March 15, 2012

I plan to take my iPad on my upcoming GCT trip and hope there are no vacation police monitoring my use of it.  Why be so critical of other travelers who are  relaxing by doing what they enjoy while on vacation? 

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 537
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

March 16, 2012

I agree. I don't take my laptop with me, but if I had an Ipad I might take it. It's easier for me to type than to write, so my notes would be more complete. I don't see how using technology interferes with anyone's relaxation. I do watch TV on some trips and have found it educational, especially the Irish language channel (with subtitles) in Ireland.

In group travel, tolerance is key -- to each his/her own.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

March 16, 2012

I don't own a laptop, being very old-fashioned and still using a desk top computer.  But if I had an iPad, which I'm considering, I certainly would take it with me.  Having a Kindle has made a real change in my packing.  I read very quickly, always have, and like to read a few pages before going to sleep.  My suitcases used to be half filled with paperback books which I shed along the way.

Why should technology and vacations be mutually exclusive?

Author: porkchop55

Joined: 2/6/2011
Posts: 70
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Tunisia, China, Peru, Canada, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Fiji, American Samoa, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Traveler Since: 2004

May 02, 2012

In a way I agree with boleta’s comments.   I work in software development and spend almost all day on the computer.   On trips I do not take a laptop, but do take a small 7” tablet computer that I don’t even turn on some days.  It comes in very handy for the following:


-          Checking the weather so I know how to dress for the day. 

-          Sending an e-mail to everyone to let them know we arrived safely.

-          Checking e-mail a few times a week to make sure things are ok at home

-          Checking in for the flight home so we stand in a shorter line at the airport

-          On my trip last month I also used it to read up on the sites we would visit the next day because there was a excellent website on Israel. 


Most of these things could be done on a computer in the hotel’s business center, but I’m finding more and more hotels that have free WIFI and no computer.  I think computers in hotels are going the way of the pay phone.  Everyone has there own so there is not need to provide one.

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